UK – The milk and infant formula products company, a2 Milk has announced it plans to ditch plastic milk bottles and adopt recyclable cartons in its packaging in the UK in a move to move away from single-use plastics.
The company has launched its fresh milk brand in 1 litre Pure-Pak cartons in the UK, as part of a major new processing deal with Elopak customer Crediton Dairy.
The launch builds on a2 Milk’s global success story which will see it use 100% recyclable paper-based cartons that use 80% less plastic than bottles and carry the Forest Stewardship Council label.
“With the heightened awareness around plastic packaging waste we are seeing a lot of interest in switching from bottles to cartons,” said Tim Smiddy, Managing Director of Crediton Dairy.
“a2 Milk™ wanted to optimize the messaging of theproduct through the sustainability of the cartons, therefore they specified that all materials used must be sustainable with all renewable PE.
“This is the most value-added milk in cartons on the UK supermarket shelves and gives consumers more options and alternatives to standard cow’s milk.
“With consumers becoming more enlightened to packaging sustainability and its environmental impact, the new carton is responding to a rising expectation for more sustainable and recyclable packaging.
We expect to see a gradual shift of more products in the dairy sector moving away from plastic packaging to cartons.”
From long-life to fresh milk packaging
Cartons are already used in packaging of long life or ambient milk and drinks, and for chilled drinks including non-dairy (soy,rice, oat and almond) milk substitutes.
a2 Milk, which sells milk from selected cows that produce milk containing only the A2 beta casein protein type, becomes the first mainstream dairy brand to ditch plastic bottles.
It addresses the dire need for alternative packaging in the UK, where millions of plastic milk bottles are disposed of daily.
In the UK, 38.5 million plastic bottles are used everyday, of which 15 million are not recycled, and they are now standard packaging for mass-produced cows’ milk sold in UK supermarkets, according to Dairy UK.
Pressure on the impact of plastics on oceanic and environmental pollution has led to some brands resolving to milk deliveries in glass bottles.
Research from Kantar earlier in the year highlighted consumer worries about plastic in the UK, a quarter (25%) expressed“extreme concern” about plastic and 21% said industry should go even further and opt for entirely plastic-free packaging.
a2 Milk has a 10% market share in Australia with a significant share in the UK and USA, where it recently launched.
“The a2 Milk Company has always been a pioneer and the introduction of our new sustainable cartons in the UK market is another first,” said Simon Hennessy, general manager, international development of the a2 Milk Company.